Storms hit west for second time

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The Independent Online
Heavy winds last night battered the west coast of Britain, blowing a 22,000-ton tanker on to rocks, felling trees and blacking out hundreds of homes.

The Santa Anna, with a crew of 29, went aground in storm conditions. The Greek tanker had been anchored in Torbay, Devon, but was driven ashore by the gale-force winds. Mark Clark, a spokesman for the Coastguard, said: "The weather is pretty appalling. It blew the vessel for about two miles on to Thatcher's Rock." The Panamanian- registered vessel was freed last night by a Coastguard tug and was set to be taken to Torbay for assessment.

About 200 homes in north-west Wales, mainly on Anglesey, were without electricity for two hours after high winds sent trees crashing onto power lines. Some areas were still recovering from last week's storms which left many homes without electricity over Christmas. A spokeswoman for Manweb said: "Last week's bad weather weakened a lot of trees. There were about 200 homes off for about two hours this afternoon but services have been restored."

The old Severn Crossing linking England and Wales was closed from early evening as 45mph gales lashed the bridge.